There are many joys to having a new puppy. One of the best is getting up early in the morning with him. After almost three years of lying in a hospital bed in my living room and having to use a walker because of my broken spine from multiple myeloma, I had forgotten how much I loved getting outside to see the sun come up. This is the first spring in four years that I can walk in the grass without assistance, a walker or a cane. Life is so very good!
This morning’s sunrise was especially exceptional as I was greeted by a clear blue sky, just enough of a chill in the air to see your breath, but not make you feel cold. The emerald green grass was heavy with dew that sparkled like diamonds in the sun’s first bright rays. I could hear the husky chatter of the geese and ducks in the pond which was accompanied by the sweet soprano of many song birds. Joy was all mine as I watched Oliver and Truman play chase.
Mornings have always been my favorite time of the day. Each new day seemed to always hold the promise of some new happiness or wonder. Growing up on the farm, I loved getting up and getting outside. Well technically, when you live on a farm it is mandatory that you have to get up and get out to help with chores and field work, because you learn young that when the sun shines light on this earth there is farm work to do.
In addition to the beauty and work of a morning on a Minnesota farm there was always a big breakfast. The day would start out with a combination of hot or cold cereal, pancakes, waffles, French toast, eggs, link or patty sausages, bacon and oranges.
Even with a very big breakfast there was always a mid-morning coffee break. This mid- morning snack usually consisted of sweet rolls, caramel rolls, muffins, coffee cake, donuts or a fancy quick bread and would recharge everyone for the next two hours until a very large dinner was served at noon. Yes, we burned off all of those calories.
This time of year I tend to gravitate to lighter flavors such as lemon. This lemon bread is a great coffee break menu addition as it is sweet and sour at the same time.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease and light flour a loaf pan.
Grate the zest from one lemon and reserve.
In a small dish squeeze juice of the lemon, add 1/4 cup sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. (I add a couple of drops of yellow food coloring at this point.) Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl with a hand-mixer cream together until light and fluffy:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together:
1-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Slowly add dry ingredients to shortening mixture alternately with 1/2 cup of milk. Beat well after each addition.
Add the grated zest of one lemon to the bread batter and mix thoroughly. Spread evenly into the loaf pan. Put into the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and while hot, and still in the pan, pour the juice of the lemon mixture over the loaf. Wait ten minutes then remove loaf from pan and let cool on a wire rack.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and remember that everyday is a day that the Lord has made and we should rejoice and be glad in it.